Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is the sixteenth day of this horrific war. On this day, 11 March 2022, Ukraine is standing, Ukraine is fighting, Ukraine is healing the wounds of war, rescuing, embracing her children who are suffering.
It really seems that this war is becoming a war primarily against the civilian, peaceful population. Even according to official statistics, in these days there have been more deaths among civilians—women and children–than among the military. We mourn the children of Ukraine who have become innocent victims of this war.
Ukraine is also bearing witness before the whole world of our indestructible spirit, our unbreakable will to build a free, democratic, independent state.
We amaze the whole world with our strength, which give us the possibility to believe in victory.
The great majority of people in Ukraine believe that Ukraine will be victorious. And this faith, faith in God, and faith in the power of truth and goodness helps us to move forward.
Speaking with our soldiers, for whom we worry particularly today, I constantly hear only one request: “Pray for us!” I want to pass on this request of the Ukrainian army, in whose hands lies the fate of Ukraine, to all of you who hear me. Pray! Pray for our Ukrainian army, which today is defending peace in Ukraine, Europe, and the world.
In these days, speaking with many people, with refugees, women, and children, in their eyes I see the desire to return home. They tell me as much: “We want to go home! We want to rebuild our homes! We don’t want to abandon our native land!”
And although today more than two million people have left Ukraine, Ukraine’s children want to live on their own, peaceful land.
That is why today we embrace with our Christian love all those who are forced to leave their homes. We pray for those whose cities have become completely besieged.
In these days I was told about the circumstances in the city of Slavutych, which is immediately next to the Chernobyl zone. This area has no electricity. There is a great danger of the spread of new radioactive waves from the Chernobyl reactor. But our priest with his wife, fully besieged, have remained there with their people
Today I call upon all the inhabitants of Ukraine, all the citizens of Ukraine: wherever you are, strengthen your country!
Our army is fighting, but we, as citizens of Ukraine, should strengthen our governmental structures as is possible for us.
Teachers should begin their lessons. Villagers must begin to prepare for the sowing season. All of us citizens are to fulfill the orders of the civilian military administration.
Ukraine must work and live in order to endure this war.
Each person has their own front. Each person has their own checkpoint. We must, together, as a united nation, care for the dignity of human life and the common good of our people, strengthening governmental institutions.
Today I wish to sincerely thank all those who, at the international and inter-religious level, are doing everything to stop the war.
I thank the Orthodox brethren, particularly in Germany and Western Europe, the Russian Orthodox Church abroad, which is trying to serve refugees and is appealing to the church hierarchy in Russia for the need to end the war immediately.
I thank the World Council of Churches, which is doing everything to stop this war.
I thank the Catholics and Protestants of France who, with a particularly appeal, are trying to do everything to stop the bloodshed in our land.
Let us pray for Ukraine! Let us be her voice in the world! May the merciful Lord help end this madness!
O God, Great and Almighty, protect our Ukraine!
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love for humankind, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Glory to Jesus Christ!